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Grammar: It Can Be Fun I Swear

I admit it: seeing the atrocious things that crop up in facebook statuses—and on twitter, and sometimes even in blog posts—makes me cringe. Of course not everyone prioritizes grammar the way I do, and that’s fine. Maybe some of these people would give me the evil eye if they knew how much trouble I have with long division, and how uninspired I am to change that.

BUT. I do think a good knowledge of grammar rules is very important for anyone who wants to make a career for themselves in an English-related field. You know, like writing. In my opinion, this is just as important as being able to write a good story. It might feel like an unimportant piece of your job as a writer, but it isn’t. It matters. A lot. (And speaking of a lot—commonly misspelled as alot—even though Kate linked this a couple Field Trip Fridays ago, I adore this blog post and it’s totally relevant so I’m linking it.)

Mistakes happen, errors slip by, but the rules do matter. There is no gray area with homophones and apostrophe placement (see other posts tagged under ‘grammar groupie’ for more information on homophones) like there is for some of the other rules. And learning how not to confuse there, they’re and their doesn’t have to be boring!

Most everyone probably has at least one lovely writing handbook they were required to get for an English class at some point. These can sometimes make for dry reading, but not always! I have both the Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers (which I stole from my sister, and which is a little on the dry side) and Writers Inc, which is made for use in grades 9-12 and is therefore written for shorter attention spans. If you have one of these sorts of books, get it out! See if you can get yourself to be interested.

And even better: GAMES! Some are better than others, but they're all good.

-Various grammar games (bonus: some can also be played in Spanish—if you feel the urge).
-Just because it’s for kids doesn't mean it isn’t useful!
-Paint by Idioms (okay, this one is kind of just for fun. For the child inside.)
-The Grammar Practice Park (several games)
-Another homophone game.

There. No excuses. Now get to learning!
Kaitlin Ward

Kaitlin Ward is the author of Bleeding Earth, Adaptive Books 2016, and The Farm, coming 2017 from Scholastic.

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  1. Ugh. My Achilles heel - to, too.

    Grammar is my weakest area, which is why I have grammarwin CP's! LOL No, it's not lazy, it's efficient!

    And I rely heavily on Word to correct me also. Saves me from the its - it's fiasco!

  2. I seriously want that shirt! I can already see the eye-rolls I'd get. Awesome.

  3. Oooh, I have the same cringing-at-improper-grammar syndrome! Not that people care, of course.

  4. Woohoo, a grammar post. Grammar is fun, but then again, I think long division can be fun too :). I think of grammar as the "math" of English, which explains why it's uninteresting for a lot of creative people.

  5. I always cringe at incorrect grammer on facebook- I feel like commenting and correcting them haha. (I don't though, of course). Great post :)

  6. For my "real" job, I teach composition to college freshman...oh, the things I have seen. It's not pretty. My favorites: exchanging "ludacris" for "ludicrous," the phrase "taken for granite," and thanks to your class my writing has "defiantly gotten better."
    eh. I blame myself.

  7. I don't know if this counts but I love Elements of Style.

  8. Great T-shirt. And games!! Yes. Thank you!

  9. Yes yes yes. I can't stand unintentional misspellings on FB. Or lack of punctuation.

    hey lemme no when your comin ovr an well bake sum cookys an *HEADSPLODE*

  10. Cannot stand improper grammar on FB posts. *wince, cringe* Get it right, indeed!

    And, ah-ha! Found that awesome shirt here:

  11. This is so important. I like the game idea to teach kids while they're young. Once you learn bad habits they're hard to correct. Great post!

  12. I'm such a grammar geek. In college I took an advanced grammar class (yes advanced!) and we "tree-ed" sentences. I had people give me random sentences to see if I could tree them!

  13. I'm pretty good with grammar. (I grew up in the Caribbean, and they force it down our throats.) What I've noticed though, is that grammatical and natural are not the same thing. Do you use a grammatically-correct semicolon or a a more natural-looking comma?


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Item Reviewed: Grammar: It Can Be Fun I Swear Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kaitlin Ward